Cboe CEO resigns after investigation into undisclosed personal relationships with colleagues

Robert Channick, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

Edward Tilly, the chairman and CEO of Chicago trading exchange Cboe, resigned Monday after an investigation into his alleged undisclosed personal relationships with colleagues.

The announcement Tuesday marks the abrupt end of a long run at the Cboe for Tilly, 60, who rose through the ranks to helm the options exchange in 2013. Tilly is the latest CEO to be toppled by allegations of an inappropriate personal relationship at work.

The Cboe has named board member Fredric Tomczyk, 68, the former president and CEO of TD Ameritrade, to replace Tilly effective immediately, the company said in a news release.

In late August, the board and outside counsel launched the investigation, which determined Tilly “did not disclose personal relationships with colleagues” in violation of company policies, the company said. Tilly agreed to resign from the company “without good reason,” receiving his prorated salary and benefits through the termination date but forfeiting all unvested equity incentives, according to a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

William Farrow, a Cboe board member, was named to replace Tilly as non-executive chairman.

“Cboe strives to uphold the highest ethical standards across the organization, and fully investigates and takes appropriate action when it determines that any of its policies have been violated,” Farrow said in the news release. “Fred’s familiarity with Cboe’s business, combined with his multi-decade experience in the financial services industry, will provide stability and reinforce the company’s commitment to growth for Cboe, its associates, customers, index partners, and investors during this period of transition.”


A Cboe spokesperson declined to comment on the details of the investigation Tuesday.

The signed resignation letter includes Tilly’s agreement to refrain from making statements to a third party regarding the investigation, resignation or agreement with the Cboe. Efforts to reach Tilly for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Tilly, who started on the trading floor of the Cboe in 1987, was named CEO in 2013, succeeding the exchange’s longtime leader, William Brodsky. In late 2016, Brodsky stepped down as chairman, with Tilly filling that role as well.

As part of his February 2023 employment agreement, Tilly was due to receive an annual base salary of nearly $1.27 million, with a target bonus of about $2.1 million in cash and $6.65 million in equity incentive compensation this year. Tilly will receive a prorated salary and equity incentives through his resignation date, but will forfeit millions in unvested equity incentives, according to SEC filings.


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